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Banner Book McGrath Cup Final Spot

Clare eased into a second successive McGrath Cup Final with a comfortable win over Waterford at the Gold Coast Resort in Dungarvan. It’s after a strong performance saw the Banner win by 1-17 to 1-6 to set up another showdown with Cork in the decider. Colm Collin’s outfit hit the ground running with Cian O’Dea opening the scoring with a fine point from distance before Gary Brennan converted a free after he was fouled on the edge of the square. The two most impressive players on show combined soon after as Gavin Cooney picked out debutante Dermot Coughlan with a brilliant cross-field pass which the Kilmurry Ibrickane man finished to send Clare 0-3 to 0-0 clear as the clock hit the eight minute mark. Cooney got in on the act himself just moments later after a good run down the right hand side before cutting in to finish from a tight angle. Coughlan landed his second soon after with Cathal …

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Clare Champion Review Of 2018 Clare Club Football Championship With David O’Brien

It was a year of change in the Clare senior football championship as five teams lost their place in the top tier. St Joseph’s Doora Barefield, Wolfe Tones, O’Curry’s, Kilfenora and St Breckan’s all fell through the trap door and will compete in the intermediate championship in 2019. It followed a recommendation from the football review committee to reduce the number of teams in the race for Jack Daly while also strengthening the competition in the second tier. It was also the year that Ennistymon broke the glass ceiling to reach a first county senior football final in the club’s history, but on that day, they faced an opposition who proved themselves a step above the rest as St Joseph’s Miltown were crowned champions for the second time in the last three years. Led once more by Michael Neylon, the West Clare men swept all before them en route to the title with comfortable wins over Wolfe Tones and Doonbeg …

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Collins Lashes New Football Rules Ahead Of 2019 Opener

Clare senior football manager Colm Collins is hitting out at the new rules being trialled for Gaelic football. It comes as Clare prepare to get their 2019 season underway against Waterford in the McGrath Cup on Sunday in what will be their first time playing in a competitive fixture under the new rules. Hand-passes are limited to a maximum of three while an attacking mark and modified side-line kick are all among the changes which Collins has seen in practice in recent challenge games and has not been impressed with. “We have played games against Limerick and UL and the main focus of those games was trying to familiarise ourselves with the new rules. To be brutally honest, I don’t think any of them have improved the game in any shape of form, outside of the black card changes. I think that’s a good rule but I see no merit in any of the rest of them. I don’t think …

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O’Connell Looking To Bring Enjoyment To Clare Camogie Role

The new manager of the Clare Camogie senior squad is setting out a simple goal for 2019. Enjoyment of the game is priority number one for Clonlara native Ger O’Connell as he dips his toe into the waters of inter-county management for the first time. According to Ger: “The game has probably become a little bit too results orientated. I was hurling for 23 years at a decent level and I always loved the game. I knew I was always going to try and get involved in coaching at some level and that’s the one thing that’s really important for me is to love what you are doing. When you create that atmosphere, you play with a little more freedom and grow more as player”. The former championship winning goalkeeper makes the step up from managing Truagh/Clonlara with the first competitive fixture of his tenure coming when Clare travel to Kilkenny for the opening round of the National League on …

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Guilfoyle’s Goal Sparks Banner Comeback In Munster Hurling League Win Over Cork

Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League Round One in Cusack Park Ennis Clare 1-20 Cork 0-21 A storming finish from Clare saw the Banner overturn Cork in the opening round of the Munster Hurling League. The home side trailed by 0-21 to 0-17 with just 2 minutes left to play before Colin Guilfoyle rattled the net to leave just a point between them. Niall Deasy stood over a free from his own “65 yard line to level the sides just moments later, and Ryan Taylor sent Clare into the lead for the first time in the game with a tidy finish in the 3rd minute of injury time. Diarmuid Ryan capped a fine performance with a brilliant score from the left wing to give Clare an unlikely two point win which puts them within touching distance of the Munster Hurling League Final.       Cork started brightest and hit the first three scores of the game inside the opening 7 …

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Clare Sweating On A Number Of Key Players Ahead Of 2019 Hurling Season

Clare are sweating on the fitness of a number of key players ahead of the 2019 National Hurling League. Management have confirmed that Conor McGrath is set to be absent for a number of months after undergoing surgery on a shoulder problem, while captain Pat O’Connor is also recovering from ankle and shoulder issues. All-Star duo John Conlon and Peter Duggan are also working their way back to full fitness due to knee and hand injuries respectively, while Paul Flanagan is continuing his rehab work after surgery on his knee. Joint manager Gerry O’Connor says injuries at this time of year are often as a result of players having put surgeries on hold in the latter part of the previous season. “Every time we have a conversation at this time of the year, you have lads who have put off niggly injuries from the inter-county season and then they play through their club championship before taking a break and rehabbing …

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Clare Champion Review Of 2018 Clare Club Hurling Championships

Ballyea proved themselves the comeback kids in more ways than one in the 2018 Clare Senior Hurling Championship. The provincial kings of 2016 claimed back the Canon Hamilton against all the odds in a year that saw them without a number of the panel that went all the way to Croke Park two years ago. Captain Stan Lineen, Gearoid ‘Gudgie’ O’Connell, Cathal Doohan, Paul Flanagan, Damien Burke and Pat Joe Connolly were all among the absentees for various reasons in 2018, while the man who started out the year in goal, Kevin Sheehan, would end up as a championship winning manager. With such a turnover in a short space of time, you could have forgiven Ballyea for needing time to bed in their new boys. They didn’t need it though as Barry Coote marshalled the goal, Brandon O’Connell and Aonghus Keane excelled in defence, while Tadgh Lynch and Cillian Brennan slotted seamlessly into the attack. It was also a year …

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Niamh has her sights set on US colleges’ indoor season

If her older brothers are up for a Christmas run, Niamh Markham is ready. The Bradley University Masters student is home from the US for Christmas. Already a teacher training graduate of St Pat’s in Drumcondra, Niamh, who is from Derryguiha, which straddles Coolmeen and Kilmurry McMahon, is studying Non Profit Leadership in the US, while also running for the college. While at home, she is training regularly with her old club, Ennis Track, and around the roads of West Clare. She is confident that she would definitely leave her eldest brother in her wake. “Brian Markham is into the GAA now. He’s football mad. I’d definitely take him, although maybe not over the sprint. He knows that. I’d say he wouldn’t even race me now. Liam is still in Chicago and is working over there. He’s still running and he joined Padraig Pearses GAA Club. He started playing with them this summer. It’s always going to be in us …

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